Electronics-related gift ideas

I found this today:

I always take pictures through my microscope eyepiece with my iPhone. This is a clever idea. Probably about 2-4x what I would pay for such a device but clever none the less.

I do have a lens adaptor for a DSLR camera but never use it due to inconvenience.

I think a digital multimeter would be a cheap but a good electronic gift. However, if you have budget then why don’t gift a smart hub?

If US$60 is cheap enough, try the Hakko Omnivise.

Has anyone been able to compare or get an impression of the main differences between the icebreaker and tiny FPGA offerings from a beginner perspective? My family sound like they are willing to buy me an FPGA kit, despite knowing that it means they it will result in seeing me less (hmmm :thinking:)! It’s something I’ve wanted to dip into and we’re at the point where there is a choice of good ways to get started. All opinions are welcome!

It probably depends on if you want do pre-defined exercises or have a small flexible kit to develop on.

ICE breaker has more ecosystem to attach various pmods to. It also has a better solution for USB interface to your digital logic.

With that said tiny fpga is extremely approachable.

I have not played with ICEbreaker much actually. Both are great first options, you cannot really go wrong and if you like FPGAs you’ll probably end up owning both in some sucession!

1 Like

This is brilliant:

1 Like

The Art of Electronics book is a nice gift for EE minded people.
A nice fluke meter would be welcome, I’m sure. (I particularly like the 117 model for the lo impedance mode and NcV function). I personally go for Extech meters, as I find they have similar quality for less cost.

This elenco power supply kit was a pretty fun and simple build, and very useful on the bench!

I really like the discrete 555 timer kit (I have not bought it myself though).

For youngsters just getting into electronics, there are kit christmas tree PCBs w/ LEDs you can grab from amazon/sparkfun/adafruit.

An arduino is also a nice gift for beginners, of course, or the DE0-nano if they’re interested in getting into FPGAs (although there are probably cheaper options out there).

There’s also some function generator kits floating around on amazon.

If they ever do rework, and don’t have a pair yet, a set of hot tweezers (either standalone, or for their current particular station) are great for SMD rework. A good microscope with large working distance can also open up new possibilities for SMD work.

I bought Snap Circuit for a couple of kids (4-8 yr old) this Christmas. It is suppose to be a fun way for kids to learn circuits, and people are saying kids have fun and learn. Also, the kits can be expanded if popular. Will let you know if it becomes a success!


My son has enjoyed these from age 4-6-??? He comes back to it occasionally, which is more than can be said for most toys/gifts.

1 Like

This looks like a cool little widget: https://www.tindie.com/products/robertposer/paperinode-solarpowered-e-paper-node-for-lorawan/

BTW does anyone know the current state of Tindie, I loved the site ~5 years ago but it doesn’t really look like it changed. TBH, this DIY electronics marketplace is a small market to take 5% off of but still it is a great concept and I try to buy on Tindie when possible.

Just be careful about the epaper display if you intend to be outdoors – they don’t handle sunlight very well in my experience. The overall concept is neat, though, and I love the “tent” made with flex PCB!